Host: Aaron Rittmaster
Panel: Nathan Trent; Eric Anderson
In Episode 68, the panel discusses the upcoming rollout of MyMagic+, Fastpass+, and Magic Bands – key elements of Disney’s NextGen technology project. In addition to official announcements from Disney, we referenced Hidden Magic in Disney World, which does a really nice job of collecting links to various sources on the topic.
We’d love to hear your take on all of these issues. Email us at podcast@DisDads.com; tweet us at DisDadsPodcast on Twitter; and join in the online discussion of the podcasts on our DISDads Discussion Boards. If you enjoyed the podcast, we’d really appreciate it if you took a moment to leave us a review on iTunes.
(If you didn’t enjoy the podcast, you can just ignore that last link).
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Day two of the DISDads Convention was our second day at Disney Hollywood Studios. I’d had Guest Services at Port Orleans-Riverside put our tickets on our room keys, so that we could use the new RFID turnstiles. Unfortunately (as we would discover repeatedly over the next few days), it appears that Guest Services doesn’t quite have the mechanics down for properly coding tickets onto the RFID chip in the new room keys. The RFID readers threw an exception, but we were admitted to the park after our cards were skimmed by a CM with a handheld card reader.
We followed our usual divide-and-conquer plan, but after the problem with Mikaela’s wheelchair at Jedi Training Academy back on Wednesday, she came with me to get the Toy Story Midway Mania Fastpasses while Miriam and Jon headed to JTA signup. Then, just as I was pulling the TSMM Fastpasses, I got a text from Miriam telling me to, “Come to JTA signups NOW!” It seems that this time, the Cast Members handling signup didn’t think there would be any problem with a child in a wheelchair participating in the show – but Mikaela had to be present to sign up.
Luckily, we were still able to get back to Toy Story in time to make a standby ride before the line got too long. After Toy Story, it was time for a breakfast – and more importantly a coffee – stop at Starring Rolls. Suitably fortified to get on with the day, we headed for Echo Lake and looked around for fellow DISDads to join us on Star Tours. Sadly, we didn’t get a group picture, and I can’t remember who all was there with us. I know that Ian and his family were there. This is what I get for waiting too long to get my trip report written. When we finished our ride, there was still some time to kill before the kids needed to check in for JTA, so we decided to head to Rock-n-Roller Coaster.
As you’ll recall, Jon measured less than 1/4″ too short to ride on Wednesday. So on Tuesday night I’d made a run to Wal-Mart and picked up some shoe inserts. This time, when we got to the ride, Jon measured just fine at the beginning of the line. We proceded through the standby line, Jon getting ever more excited – he couldn’t wait to go upside down! And then, just as we were moving from the last of the single-file queue to the loading area, a CM pulled Jon aside and said that they needed to measure him again. This time, they decided he was too short, by maybe 1/8″. I talked them into letting Mikaela ride alone, even though she’s only 10, and Jon and I waited for her at the gift shop. Jon was devastated. It was very lucky that he had JTA to look forward to, or I fear we would have lost him for the rest of the day. While we were picking up Mikaela’s ride photo, the CM who was putting the pic on our PhotoPass heard her say that Tower of Terror was her favorite ride. He took out a business card, scribbled something on the back, and told us we should give it to a girl in the Tower of Terror gift shop that he described for us. More on this in a bit.
Next, it was back to Echo Lake for JTA check-in. Just like we’d suggested a couple of days ago, Mikaela was able to access the stage via the wheelchair ramp for Star Tours. She got a kick out of taunting Vader about having been beaten back by a girl, and the crowd loved it. 🙂 Jon really got into his battle with Vader too, and I still love his patented “duck” move, which involves dropping all the way down into a sort of catcher’s squat. I’m not sure Vader can even SEE him down there, let alone strike him.
I happened to be reviewing our list of podcast topics a few days ago, and noticed that we don’t do nearly as many trip reports on the podcast as we used to. They tend to run long, and it’s hard to fit them into the context of the other topics that we like to talk about. But talking about trip reports is fun, and listening to other people’s trip reports helps make the time got a bit faster while waiting for your own next trip. I thought to myself, “Self, if we had a sponsor for a Wednesday edition of the show, listening to trip reports would be a great way to get through the midweek doldrums.” And before I gave myself more time to consider the question, I had sent an Email inquiry to a potential sponsor and gotten an enthusiastic acceptance back!
Sooooooooo – beginning Wednesday, April 3 we’ll be releasing a midweek edition of the DISDads Podcast each Wednesday. The Midweek Edition (which will have a better name than that by April 3rd) will focus on first hand trip reports and be filled out with current Walt Disney World news and information.
When we get closer to April 3, I’ll be posting more information about the new sponsor who has agreed to come on board for the midweek show, and announcing the official name for the new show. In the meantime, I’d love your suggestions for names for the show. And if you’re interested in sharing your trip report, please let me know. The trip report segments will be recorded in advance, so even if you’re not normally available to record during our regular podcast recording time, we can probably work something out to record at another time.
We got to Wilderness Lodge about a quarter until 5:00 p.m., and I touched base with the hostess as Whispering Canyon Café. She wanted a head count broken down by adults and children. Uh oh. I was told there would be no math on this exam. So as the masses of DISDads and their families continued to gather in the lobby of the Wilderness Lodge (and the Territory Lounge), I did my best to get a count. Then I was told that Randall and his wife were on the ferry on their way over from the Magic Kingdom. And Nate was on the way too. Someone had a stomach issue and wasn’t going to be able to make it after all. Add one here. Subtract one there. Someone else is on the way. It was like herding cats (and I don’t even like real cats).
Finally, I gave up and turned the counting responsibilities over to someone else. Then we double-checked it. Then I got the hostess our count. And then some more people arrived, and I gave the hostess a new count. Note to self: there HAS to be a better way to handle this part next time. Once we got the count figured out, Whispering Canyon was simply awesome. The seated us at four large tables, all grouped together. Somehow, Terry and Marie ended up as the chaperones for the kids’ table. It’s a testament to this group that, after only having known the Hawkins’ for a few hours in real life, I was perfectly comfortable with them supervising my daughter at dinner.